August 29, 2010

REASON TV: What We Saw at the Glenn Beck Rally in DC.

Well worth watching. Let me just add that although Beck’s rally attracted a lot of Tea Partiers, his religious message is pretty distinct from the core Tea Party message. On the other hand, a lot of people agree with Beck that something’s gone wrong in this country, beyond the last election. Some people worry that Beck’s trying to transform the Tea Party movement into a religious movement, but I’d say that remains unclear at this point. If he tries that, though, it’s likely to fail. For the moment, though, I agree with those who characterize his message as Tocquevillian.

Also, note this from Tim Cavanaugh: “It’s understandable that you don’t want to lose all your invitations, and the dismissive pose toward Beck stems from a well founded fear my fellow rootless cosmopolitans have — that if we seem too close to the cars-on-cinderblocks, chicken-coops-in-yards, shotguns-and-rockingchairs variety of libertarianism, we will lose the respect of liberaloids in New York and D.C. It’s a real concern, but if the trade-off means you reject the Tea Parties — by far the biggest popular movement with a clear anti-government mood that has occurred in my lifetime – and in exchange you get to be comfortable at table with David Frum, well, that deal sounds like a loser to me.”

Also, from Jennifer Rubin:

I admit that I had some serious reservations about the Glenn Beck rally. To put it mildly, I’m no fan of Beck’s, and his rhetoric has given liberals plenty of fodder to paint the right as extreme and incendiary. But both he and certainly Palin conducted themselves well — sticking to general themes of faith and service. That the media could not find a single controversial statement is a tribute to the good judgment and restraint that was exercised.

Indeed. And Prof. William Jacobson zeroes in on a racist criticism of the rally. See a bunch of white people, immediately think of mass murder? Then you are, in Janeane Garofalo’s words, a stone racist. But in my experience, the people who yammer about racism the most tend to be closet racists themselves. And sometimes, not-so-closeted.

Related: Desperately Seeking Racists.

UPDATE: Jim Treacher rounds up the shockingly un-diverse press commentary on the event.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader notes that AP’s photographers don’t seem to have gotten the JournoList memo.

“Pashai Oway, 6, of Arlington, Va., holds an American flag while attending the the ‘Restoring Honor’ rally, organized by Glenn Beck, in Washington, on Saturday,Aug. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin).”

Well, the hoity-toity types often leave the photogs out of the conversation.